As his Cleveland Browns roster fills out, Andrew Berry’s makeover strategy comes into focus.
Berry emphasizes the team’s NFL Draft, with his first 2 classes accounting for 9 starters and 15 roster spots.
He will pay top dollar for a few years to free agents he thinks can fill glaring needs.
But he loves his one-year veteran fill-in guys, as evidenced by the 15 (and counting) already on the 2022 roster.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) April 20, 2022
Most importantly, he will lock up his most important core players with worthy contract extensions.
Denzel Ward‘s 5-year extension is just the latest deal for Cleveland’s biggest names.
Who are the next Cleveland Browns players in line for contract extensions?
Not Much More To Do This Year
Berry quietly moved on from most of the players he inherited back in 2020.
As a result, there are few major extensions due in the next season or two.
Jadeveon Clowney will technically be a free agent signing, but Berry is willing to give him a 2-year deal to return.
The #Browns are "pushing" to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Cleveland had an offer on the table at one point, somewhere in the area of $12M per season for two years (reportedly). Currently unknown whether the Browns have changed their offer.
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) April 3, 2022
Cleveland slapped the franchise tag on tight end David Njoku, which could complicate extension talks.
Stefanski loves his tight ends, but Njoku’s value is far less than the $10.9 million franchise salary.
If not for the player’s stated desire to stay in Cleveland long-term, he’d probably be content to play out the tag.
Greedy Williams has the best shot at a big second contract, but his best offer might not come from Berry.
Most missed tackles forced per run (min. 55 attempts):
🥇 Kareem Hunt- 0.33
🥈 Nick Chubb- 0.31 pic.twitter.com/Ok31rdsHUH
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) October 13, 2021
Another solid, injury-free season should earn Williams a starting cornerback’s contract from somebody.
Kareem Hunt is in the same position, with a quality starter ahead of him in the Cleveland pecking order.
And Sione Takitaki is the only other pre-2020 roster free agent and could find himself elsewhere by 2023.
Berry Gets Busy After Next Year
Andrew Berry’s first NFL Draft class hits free agency in 2024.
And their continued success could make for some tough extension decisions after the 2023 season.
Cleveland only has about half a roster’s worth of players contracted into 2024.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) October 13, 2020
Although the salary cap is expected to rise significantly, the team already has $180 million in contracted salary.
Salary trends could shift between then and now, so it is difficult to project.
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
If Berry continues to hit on his draft picks, there will be far more players on rookie deals than one-year free agents.
That should make it easier to re-sign any stars who emerge from Cleveland’s 2020 draft.